Photo Gallery | Rusty the drug dog retires
MORGANTON - Looks like there's a new job opening at the Burke County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Task Force. Rusty the drug dog handed in his badge Tuesday morning.
The sheriff's office held a retirement party for the little Jack Russell terrier, who was one of the first terriers in the country in his line of work.
Rusty, now 11-years-old, was starting to show his age and the department decided it was time to hang up his leash.
After ten years on the job, the dog with puppy-like energy can now look forward to laying around on the couch and chasing tennis balls. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?
His finds of marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstacy throughout the course of his career have put more than 100 people behind bars. His ability to get under vehicles and get into tight spaces was invaluable to the team.
Crooks in custody first nervous at the idea of a drug dog headed their way laughed at the site of the spunky little Jack Russell. But, of course, they weren't laughing for very long.
Rusty has been in service longer than most drug K-9's, who average a career of about eight years. On Tuesday, he made his retirement official by putting his paw print on the paperwork. He'll go home with one of the Task Force officers.
For now, the Task Force is without a drug dog, and there isn't room in the budget for a replacement until next year, though the staff says Rusty could never be replaced.
Enjoy retirement, Rusty, we thank you for your many loyal years of service.